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2012-06-11 08:00

E-TOLLING STALLS E-TAGS PURCHASE: A study reveals that 72% of drivers in Gauteng disagreed with the concept of e-tolling and over two thirds of drivers unwilling to purchase an e-tag.

Johannesburg - More than two-thirds of Gauteng drivers have not or will not buy an e-toll tag, a new survey has revealed.

The study, conducted by marketing firm Ipsos, shows 72% of drivers in the province disagreed with the concept of e-tolling.

Researchers said: "The numbers in our survey simply confirm... opposition with the intended non-co-operation of Gauteng drivers."

UNREASONABLE TARIFFS


The survey was conducted before an interdict halting e-tolling was handed down in May 2012. In a similar poll in 2011, 69% of drivers questioned said they would pay e-toll fees, provided that the fees were affordable.

This was prior to the release of the final rates.

In the latest study, almost 64% believed the tariffs were unreasonable, even taking into account the discounts for frequency and time of day.

Ipsos said 63% of the drivers wanted the government to find an alternative to e-tolling: "Support for the system has dwindled to a very large extent.

“One could speculate this is a result of a few factors, such as the prospect of the system actually being implemented, the bad publicity around the system and the unfortunate miscommunication of the project from its inception," the marketing firm said.

FINANCED THROUGH TAXES

In a separate statement, the South African Road Federation came out in support of a mixed approach to finance the country's roads. Spokesman Malcom Mitchell said 95% of costs should be financed through general taxes.

Heavily trafficked and expensive roads such as Gauteng's upgraded freeway system should be financed through charging users.

Mitchell said: "The public does not object to being billed directly for utility usage or for paying a portion of its education and medical costs directly. Why, then, does it object to paying a portion of road costs on the basis of use?"


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